“never to admit a fault or wrong; never to accept blame; concentrate on one enemy at a time; blame that enemy for everything that goes wrong; take advantage of every opportunity to raise a political whirlwind”
– page 219 Analysis of the Personality of Adolph Hitler: With Predictions of His Future Behaviour and Suggestions for Dealing with Him Now and After Germany’s Surrender, by Henry A. Murray, October 1943
Merseyside’s Project Fear has evolved into Project Threat. We’ve tried to point them onto a righteous path but they still do not understand that they cannot threaten to remove an injury award just on the basis of whether or not a questionnaire is completed.
Let us be quite clear for the umpteenth time. There is no power to punitively revoke an injury award.
Regulation 33 of the Police (Injury) Benefit Regulations states that if there is a negligent or wilful refusal to be medically examined then a decision can be made on the available evidence. It does not say an award can be taken away as punishment. In any case this does NOT apply to Regulation 37(1) — Reassessment of injury pension — so far as it relates to the statutory duty placed upon a police pension authority to ‘consider’ whether there has been substantial alteration after a suitable interval.
Only after the police pension authority having considered whether the degree of the pensioners disablement has altered, and a suitable interval has occurred, it MUST then and only then refer the statutory medical question under Regulation 30 (2) (d) – degree of disablement -to an SMP and, a result, it is only then that Regulation 33 can feasible ever apply.
This is an extract from a threatening letter being sent out to disabled former police officers written by Chief Superintendent Chris Markey, who evidently has never read the Regulations in his life.
The obvious reply to such a threat is to ask ‘under what power will you use to suspend my injury award?’. Chief Superintendent Markey would not be able to answer this without either by telling the truth and admitting there is no power or without lying by saying there is and the Regulations permit him to do this (which if you are still in doubt – they don’t). Why would a senior officer debase himself this way? Would he tell an untruth in a criminal investigation to get what he wants?
The questionnaire is a work of pure villainy.Mersyeside-questionnaire
Such guff deserves an appropriate response:
Dear Chief SuperNintendo Markey
I recently received a letter from you. Every two years or so I get one. This one suggested that there was an urgent requirement to address the problem of my lack of a questionnaire.
I am sorry, but after all these years my medical condition has not changed, and now I have run out of patience. I understand your need to ensure that people who have an injury award should be considered if there has been substantial change to see if the correct band is being paid, but as someone who never receives a nice and pleasant letter from you just asking ‘how I am and can you help’, I think it’s time you cut me some slack.
I think this and the tone of your letter, and threats of taking my award away, and suggestion that in some way I am a liar is what finally got my goat (I do not actually have a goat either. This is an expression in common usage, although even if I did have a goat I do not believe this amounts to substantial change.)
The questionnaire that you demand of me is rather confusing. You first ask what my injury is. Don’t you know? This seems rather strange. If you need me to explain it then something is amiss already.
If I answer NO to question 2 and declare that there has been no change then is this farce then over? Surely you can’t send me to see a SMP if there there has been no change. The ‘review’ for all it’s purposes is in effect over. Or won’t you believe me?
You then ask me to declare medical interventions. Have you not heard of Chatham House rules? or more colloquially: What is said to my doctor stays with my doctor. Putting confidential medical information on a questionnaire that can be read by all and sundry does not seem to the correct way to process personal and confidential information. The Data Protection Act can be very serious when it comes to medical information.
Throughout the questionnaire you jump from reference to reference. Does “your condition” reference back to the “medical condition” referred to at question 1? Are you surreptitiously trying to determine apportionment in a review!? Don’t you know you can only consider the degree of disablement. I hope you aren’t already trying to declare that an unrelated medical condition has overtaken the index injury – in a tatty questionnaire. Oooh! you are awful!
You then jump to the term “disability”. Does that phrase simply refer back to the “medical condition” or is it meant to encompass something broader? If so, what? You are like a jumping bean, all over the place.
Out of interest have you ever seen the ESA50 form used by the government? This is to do with applying and reapply for a benefit. As you know an injury award isn’t a benefit – it is an award for life and the last decision made by the medical authority is final. But the point is in the ESA50 they don’t just use YES/NO like you’ve done. They have a ‘it varies’ option. This is much nicer. Can I suggest you add it for next time?
I am very puzzled with precisely what way my current ability to drive or ride a motor vehicle or use sporting equipment is relevant to the questions falling for consideration under the Regulations? I would love it if you could explain this to me.
In like terms, please clarify the relevance of any current annual salary to the relevant issue for consideration under the Regulations?
At this point I need you to post to me the last questionnaire I filled in and sent you. I can’t remember ever doing this but I may be mistaken.
I would like to see the answers I put. You must have a copy – how else can you compare what I’ve written then to what I might write now? I do hope you have a copy. Otherwise this might all be a fresh assessment. And that will be a very naughty thing to do.
Is the question of salary limited to income earned from employment or self-employment or is it meant to encompass income from any source (such as investments)? This puzzles me. I’ve read and reread the Regulations and can’t see anywhere, anything that gives you authority to be entitled to that information, and how it touches upon the relevant statutory question.
My Great Aunt Bessy died last year (god bless her) and she bequeathed me her house. I now rent this out. I can’t see how this affects my capacity to earn. Sure the rental income is income, but it isn’t earned income. Could you please help me out with this sticky problem?
As you can see Chief SuperNintendo Markey I do have loads of questions. I herewith give you 21 days to reply. If you fail to reply I may take action to suspend any doubt that you are an idiot.
This is not an action that I would usually wish to take
Yours Sincerely and with love
4 thoughts on “Project Fear”
It beggars belief that (presumably) intelligent police officers who have attained high rank and ( again presumably) have had experience of the law and procedure should make such basic errors of judgement. We all know that if you don’t follow correct procedure you end up looking an idiot in court. Maybe they only listen to someone else’s bad advice without checking the regs for themselves or they just believe that it is ok to make unlawful and unwarranted threats as long as it achieves their aim. They should remember that no-one is above the law.
I applaud IODPA for highlighting such behaviour and underhand antics. Forces must realise their days are numbered for their underhand ways in stitching up their injured on duty officers. For many years they have been getting away with it. Hopefully no more. Keep growing IODPA. There are hundreds of retired officers out there who are indebted to you.
Am I surprised to read about what my former employers are doing? I am embarrassed to have ever been part of it. And I can only apologise to those who are suffering because of it.
Brilliant response to the outrageous demand and threats!
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